Lewis Hamilton says Mercedes has been “incredibly impressive” so far in pre-season testing at Jerez.
After an encouraging start on the first day of the test on Tuesday, Hamilton's running was cut short by a front wing failure, but Nico Rosberg bounced back to complete almost 100 laps on the second day. With Hamilton taking over again on Thursday and adding another 62 laps to the tally, he said the progress Mercedes has made – especially in light of Red Bull's problems – has been remarkable.
“Nico got 97 laps yesterday, which was great,” Hamilton said. “It's really just incredibly impressive to see the team the first ones out on the first day. Obviously I had some issues with the front wing but we've fixed that and we're working on improving that for the future.
“But just by watching all of the other teams who haven't been out hardly yet at all, for example the Red Bull. You would imagine that Red Bull would be doing easily as many as many laps as us with their track record but obviously they've had some issues as well so it just shows you how technical it is and how difficult it is for every team. With how challenging it is, to see us out there doing 97 laps – way above the rest – is a huge accomplishment.”
However, Hamilton warned it is too early to say Red Bull is in trouble just based on its lack of mileage at the first test.
"This is going to be a seriously challenging year for everyone with regard to reliability ... everything is different. We've a new braking system and we're trying to fine tune that, the same with the dashboard on the steering wheel. Then you've the turbo, ERS, all these new things. It's so complex, far, far, far beyond what we've had before.
“It's a huge challenge for every team this year. So anything can happen to any team because there are so many factors that come into play, and everyone's just trying their best to get things ready. I'm sure [Red Bull] will get their issues sorted and be back out on track.
“These are trying times and we never expected to have covered as many laps as we have now, particularly when other people, like Red Bull haven't had any laps. There are only positives at the moment to take from these days.”